Category: Design

Watch Molten Glass 3D-Printed From a Kiln at 1900 Degrees

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In collaboration with the MIT Glass Lab, the Mediated Matter group at the MIT Media Lab has produced a way to 3D print glass, creating intricate patterns from molten glass inside a kiln-like printer and giving a completely modern twist to the 4,500 year-old material. The video produced to exhibit the ways in which the technology works displays the process without words, instead focusing on the mesmerizing way the hot glass stacks upon itself in the machine and ultimately cools into the final vase-like forms.

Glass 3D printing (or G3DP) is based on a dual-heated chamber concept, with the top chamber heating the glass and lower chamber slowly cooling it to prevent internal stresses. The top chamber operates at approximately 1900°F, and funnels the molten material through an alumina-zircon-silica nozzle into its programmable shapes.

The researchers explain the concept of the project as one that “synthesizes modern technologies, with age-old established glass tools and technologies producing novel glass structures with numerous potential applications.” One application of which is beautifully designed vessels created without human error, forms that are mathematically perfect in appearance and design.

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Caustic patterns of a 3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.

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Caustic patterns of a 3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.

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Glass 3D printing process. Photo: Steven Keating

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Glass 3D printing process. Photo: Steven Keating

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3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.

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3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.

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3D printed glass structure. Photo: Chikara Inamura.

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Miniature Skulls Carved from Pearls Used to Create Anatomical Jewelry

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Producing work since 1974, Japanese artist and jeweler Shinji Nakaba infuses all matter of anatomical forms, skulls, and flowers into what he describes as “wearable sculptures.” The pieces come in all shapes and sizes, but his most prolific series involves human and animal skulls carved from oyster pearls and attached to rings, necklaces, and brooches. In addition to selling pieces through his online shop, Nakaba’s work has been shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, as well as several galleries and museums around Japan. You can see more of his jewelry designs and pearl carvings on his website. (via Colossal Submissions)

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A Visit Inside One of the Only Hand-crafted Globe Studios in the World

Long gone are the days when our first instinct is to migrate to a spinning globe to track the destinations around us or find a specific country. Now we have the power to digitally zoom in and out of the entire earth, utilizing mapping tools like Google Earth. The romanticism tied to these newer forms however, does not match the art of the ancient globe, the earliest dating back to the mid-2nd century B.C. Nowadays globes are either modern and massively produced, or antiquated models unsuited for casual browsing.

Frustrated by this lack of quality options when trying to find a globe as a present, Peter Bellerby started Bellerby & Co. Globemakers in order to produce globes that exist somewhere in-between the two options. “I did this as a direct result of looking, searching for a globe for my father for his 80th birthday, and I couldn’t find anything,” said Bellerby. “Initially my plan was to make one for him and maybe one for me if I had the budget.”

After spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he had originally predicted on the process, he decided to use what he’d learned to set up a company in 2008, eventually moving into their current location in Stoke Newington, London. The company employs a small team of makers that fastidiously work in an open environment with large windows, nestled between test sheets of watercolor paints and hanging strips of paper twirling from clothes pins. To master the process of applying paper to the sphere globes (called “goring”) can take up to a year or more.

“It’s been something that’s been an incredible challenge. The whole design process, the whole way of making anything using a sphere at its base, at its centerpiece is fraught with different problems and issues because you are multiplying every error by pi,” said Bellerby.

Bellerby & Co. Globemakers’ globes have been featured in Hollywood movies and BBC productions as well as used in installations by established artists. The company has also had support from the Royal Geographic Society and was able to host their first ever globe exhibition in 2012. To see more images of the daily life at the Bellerby & Co. studio, visit the company’s Instagram or their blog. (via My Modern Met)

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Ferrolic: A Clock with a Liquid Face Powered by Magnetism

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Way back in 2000 I downloaded a screensaver designed by Yugo Nakamura called DropClock that tied in with your systems’ internal time to create a functional clock face depicting Helvetica numbers dropping into water in slow motion. It was mesmerizing to watch and I kept it running for years. Designer Zelf Koelman took the idea of merging time and liquid a step further by creating Ferrolic, a self-contained clock that literally displays time with liquid. It’s almost exactly what would happen if a digital clock and a lava lamp had a baby.

Ferrolic utilizes ferrofluid—a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field—to display recognizable shapes in response to magnets embedded inside the clock’s aluminum frame. The moving blobs look almost alive, a fact not lost on Koelman who refers to them as “creatures.” He shares:

Ferrolic was designed from a strong fascination for the magical material Ferro Fluid. The natural dynamics of this fluid makes that this display bridges the gap between everyday digital screens and tangible reality.

Because the fluid behaves in a unpredictable way, it is possible to give the bodies perceived in the Ferrolic display a strong reference to living creatures. It is this lively hood that enables Ferrolic to show a meaningful narrative like for instance having the creatures play tag. In addition the natural flow of the material, it can be used to form recognisable shapes and characters. Ferrolic uses these both layers in parallel in order to display scenes and transitions in an poetic, almost dance like, choreographed way.

The clocks are a bit of a prototype so far, only 24 of the devices are available at a price of about $8,000 each, making it much more of a limited edition art piece than a consumer-grade alarm clock. You can learn more here. (via Boing Boing, Fast Company)

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A Hypnotic Infinite Model Train Loop that Travels Rapidly in Either Direction

Model train enthusiast James Risner decided to turn several toy locomotive sets into a contemporary kinetic art installation of sorts by creating an infinite loop. The seven linked trains can travel forward or backward at surprisingly quick speed, creating a hypnotic spiral of of motion. I wonder if this could be scaled to a Metropolis II level? (via Laughing Squid)

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Welder Scott Raabe Places Interlocking Patterns of Molten Metal Between Pipes

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For Scott Raabe, his craft lies is in the very fine details—the intersection between pipes and other cuts of metal one might typically glance over without a second thought. It’s in these fine crevices that Raabe welds layered patterns, using his seven years of expertise to create interlocking designs that seem to glow a metallic rainbow sheen after being welded. For the layperson, typical welding this is not.

Raabe started out as a small parts and custom welder for a production company after graduating from Texas State Technical College. In addition to creating unique patterns during his day job as a pipe fitter and welder, he also creates more elaborate commissions including large roses and butterflies on his site Clean Cut Metal Works. You can see more of Raabe’s work on his Instagram. (via Twisted Sifter)

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Meet a Completely Colorblind Man Who Uses Special Tech to ‘Hear’ Colors

Produced as a part of The Connected Series, Hearing Colors, is a short film that explores the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who was born with achromatopsia that leaves 1 in 30,000 completely colorblind. Through an antenna-like object implanted into the back of his head, Harbisson is able to gain a comprehension of the colors around him by hearing distinct sounds.

Harbisson completely embraces the unusual technology and openly refers to himself as a cyborg. “I don’t feel that I am using technology. I don’t feel that I am wearing technology. I feel that I am technology,” Harbisson explains. “I feel no difference between the software and my brain.”

The five minute film, shot in black and white, gives the audience a sense of Harbisson’s artificially created one, letting us peer into how he sees humans, cities, and everyday life.

Hearing Colors was created by filmmaker Greg Brunkalla. You can see more of his films on his Vimeo page here. (via Swissmiss)

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